created among the ranks. General Anders, the Commander of the
Polish Army in the Middle East, considered the situation to be so serious
that, on February 9, 1943, he issued an order of the day to his Army on
this subject, an order which can be quoted as an expression of the
(e Several days ago tho Soviet Government sent a Note to our Govern-
ment in which, by a one-sided decision and for reasons absolutely incom-
prehensible, all citizens of the Polish Republic who were under the Soviet
occupation in November, 1939, have been termed as c citizens of Russia.*
ccWe understand too well what this means!ówe know what the fate will
be of our countrymen, our parents, our wives and our children still re-
maining in the territory of the U.S.S.R.
" It is unquestionably a hostile act against Poland, and all Poles every-
where can only understand it in such a way. Because of this31 immediately
dispatched a request to the C.-in-C. asking him to inform us of the decision
of the Polish Government. To-day I received an explanation that the
Polish Government have refused to accept the Soviet's Note and have
referred it to the British and U.S.A. Governments. Meanwhile our
operational Commander, General Wilson, has informed me that he, on his
part, has applied to his chief, emphasising the necessity for immediate
ee I am convinced that, with the assistance of our British friends, with
whom we have been united in life and death in this fight for freedom, since
September, 1939, and by the intervention of the U.S.A., the matter will
be favourably settled.
c<r Justice and law are on our side. We all, without exception, whether
in Poland or abroad, know that war with Germany is our first aim. No
one more than Poland desires to be on friendly terms with the U.S.S.R.
We, as a State and as a Nation, have done them no wrong. But there is
not one Pole existing who would agree that Poland, after so much loss of
life, which she is still sustaining without ceasing, and must still sustain,
should lose one jot of her territory.
cc We shall remain silent as long as it is necessary for our cause. We are
a coherent unit, which has passed through the heaviest hardships of life,
and so, now, in this phase of the struggle for the Polish Republic, we shall
be able to act as the cause of Poland will require."
Sikorski took a firm stand in order to prevent the spreading of discontent
in the Army. He dismissed the Commander of the Polish Forces in
Britain, General Spiechowicz (a former Commander of the fth Division
formed in the U.S.S.R.),, and managed to appease the Commander of
the Middle East Army by advising him to " wait and see " : but he was
by no means successM in appeasing public opinion. The Polish Press
in Britain and America demanded in unison that, after a reverse such as
this, a reverse which had indicated how greatly the Government had
lacked in foresight in its eagerness to appease Russia,, it must resign.
ec The chief accusation against this Government was that it had not kept
its own citizens informed or told the free world the true facts regarding
Soviet demands," wrote My si Polska (* Polish Thought/ the organ of the
National Democrats in London). cc To-day, however, it is universally
known that the Soviet Union has definitely and bluntly declared that it
finally considered the Polish land, occupied in 1939, as Soviet territory